Louis thought Ipswich Witches had built a team capable of a whole lot more
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches director of speedway Chris Louis has admitted to being ‘hugely disappointed’ by his side’s inability to make the Premier League play-offs.
The Foxhall Heath outfit finished seventh, just one place and one point outside the play-off places, as Plymouth picked up maximum points at Rye House on Saturday night.
It means for the first time in ages the Witches have ended their season as a team in September.
Only one meeting now remains at Foxhall Heath this season, the 16-Lapper on September 24.
“I thought the team we put together was a good one, if I’m being honest,” Louis said.
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“And most people seemed to agree with me back in March.
“We had the top end right – a genuine No.1 in Danny King, and the quirky signing of Nico Covatti at the bottom end was right too. He has put nearly three points on his average.
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“It’s everything in between that hasn’t lived up to expectations.
“I’m hugely disappointed. Yes we had some bad luck and Rohan Tungate’s ban came at a bad time for us.
“But we only needed one more point to get into the play-offs. We can’t have any excuses, injuries are part of the sport too and many clubs have had them.
“The sad thing is that if we had got into the play-offs, I would really have fancied our chances.”
While Louis refused to name names, there is little doubt the performances of Gino Manzares and Tungate will have disappointed him – both seeing their averages drop.
Cameron Heeps continues to frustrate, but still holds down an average of more than six points, but after King and Covatti, you would think the other five positions in the Witches of 2016 are up for grabs.
“I know the fans would love to see Danny and Nico back next year,” Louis said.
“Trust me, I share their thoughts.
“But I don’t know what is going on next season yet and whether they want to stay.”
And Louis hit out at the long wait the Witches have had to endure to find out their play-off fate.
“It has been very frustrating to have to wait while clubs cram in meetings at the end of the season,” he bemoaned.
“I don’t see why clubs can’t get on and run meetings consistenly as we have done this season.
“Not that it hides any excuse for us not getting in the play-offs.”
So, who does Louis think will now run off with the Premier League title?
“Well, incredibly I think Edinburgh, who have been so good all season, are starting to run out of juice a bit,” he said.
“And I cant’ see them winning it now.
“I don’t know who will, all I do know is that if we had just got a point more and some of our riders had been mentally stronger, we would be in with a great chance of doing well in the play-offs.”
The Witches didn’t make the Premier League play-offs in 2012 either, but they did at least reach two cup finals to keep the season ticking along.
This year however has been a very different story.